Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The word of an Officer and Gentleman

In several of the newspapers yesterday and today there are articles derived from Richard van Emden's new book Meeting the Enemy about Anglo-German military contact during the Great War about one of the most remarkable stories Emden uncovered in his research, that of Capt Robert Campbell, and how, on the basis of him giving his word, he was allowed compassionate leave to visit his mother. The story can be read in Revealed: Extraordinary story of British WWI captain released by Kaiser from German prison camp so he could see his dying mother in Kent - on condition that he returned to his cell... and he DID

That chivalric tradition was certainly still strong during the terrioble events of the First World War, and one that has, I think, survived at least in the British Army, though I fear the world is less chivalrous today. It is also an interesting story in itself, with its 'human interest' and a vignette of life at the time. 


Noelle the dreamer said...

Thank you! Your blog is always interesting but this particular vignette had me spellbound!
Signed me,
Grandaughter of a WW1 Knight of Honour...

Bob said...

Linky no worky.